Toddler time

When my child was a newborn, I knew that it took us a lot longer to get ready and get places than it ever had before she was born.  Since I was pumping milk, that usually threw a whole other task into the mix.  We’d have to get ourselves ready, get her ready, leave time for me to pump and gather all our belongings before we would head out the door.  Like any parent can tell you, there were times we were almost out the door when a diaper smell sent us back to her changing table before we could leave.  Yet, even with the unexpected sometimes happening, I could still manage to plan enough to get us out the door and to our appointed place on time.

As she got older, it got easier since I could predict her schedule even more and know both how to plan and what to expect.  I also learned some tricks, like not letting her walk to the car.  We carried her to the car for a long time after she was able to walk, because I didn’t want to worry about her running off or taking longer.

Eventually that stopped working and she started walking to the car and wanting to walk other places, too.  I get that.  And it wasn’t too bad.  She’s actually quite good at holding our hand and staying with us, so that makes it easier.  She’s not fond of strangers (read: she’s scared and won’t even walk by them sometimes) so that helps, too.

But, now enter potty training.  Holy cow!  Getting somewhere on time has become more of a miracle than anything else.  OK, maybe that’s exaggerating just a little bit, but only just a little bit.  Getting the dog around the corner to the groomer’s by 9 a.m. becomes like a quest for the Holy Grail.  I plot, I plan and I try to motivate.  However, toddlers aren’t motivated by the clock.  Not only can my daughter not tell time, she doesn’t understand the concept of it and doesn’t care about it.  I understand this.  I know she’s 2.  What do I expect?

I struggle sometimes with myself and wanting to be places on time if not early.  I hate being late.  It makes me uncomfortable and unhappy.  The last tw0 weeks we have been late going to our favorite story time at the library.  And even if she goes to the bathroom before we leave, she always insists on having to go as soon as we get there.  The bathroom is right across from the story room (good planning there, library folks!), but it still makes us even later.

And you’d think if we’re running late anyway that would deter her from wanting to do things like step on cracks and jump in small puddles.  Nope.  She’s a toddler.  This is what she does.  Toddler time is its own thing.  Toddler time with potty training is a whole other thing.

I keep reminding myself that this isn’t forever.  It’s just for now.  And being late to story time isn’t earth shattering.  The world is still turning.  We are still breathing.  I’m working on relaxing and going with the flow of toddler time.  We’ll see.

For now, I’ve got to stop writing so I can get the kid up, ready and (hopefully) make it on time to story time this morning.  Wish me luck (–and patience!).

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